Education services company Kaplan Inc. a subsidiary of publicly traded Graham Holdings, has agreed to acquire SmartPros, Ltd., a provider of accredited professional education and training for accountants and other finance professionals.

Kaplan will pay approximately $16.9 million in cash, or $3.57 per share, for SmartPros. SmartPros reported $13.5 million in revenue for 2014. The transaction is expected to close by year-end, subject to SmartPros’ shareholder approval.

SmartPros's continuing professional education offerings in accounting include its Financial Management Network, CPA Report and SmartPros Advantage accounting subscription products. Its Financial Campus product and Banking library delivers continuing education to the financial services industry.

SmartPros also offers accountancy training to accounting professionals and corporations through its Loscalzo Associates unit that qualifies practitioners for CPE credits in accounting, auditing and assurance topics. Its library of over 2,800 hours of primarily online education programming is delivered via a proprietary learning management system.

SmartPros recently launched an Audit Management System product, which provides a regulatory compliance system for banks, broker-dealers and insurance companies to carry out branch audits and minimize regulatory and compliance risks.

“SmartPros’ continuing education courses in accountancy for professionals in the U.S. will provide a domestic complement to our existing global accountancy training programs,” said Kaplan Professional Education president Dr. Andrew Temte in a statement. “In addition, SmartPros’ continuing education offerings in the financial services field fit well with Kaplan’s existing Firm Element and Insurance CE products, which will enable us to deliver enhanced value to current and future customers.”

SmartPros' has a customer base of approximately 3,000 companies, primarily corporate, accounting and financial services firms. In addition, SmartPros serves broker-dealers, securities and banking firms as well as state CPA societies and other professional groups and associations. Its products enable practitioners to earn continuing professional education credits to maintain their CPA, CMA, CFM, and CIA designations, along with continuing legal education.

“We believe that combining SmartPros with Kaplan will strengthen our product offerings and allow the combined entity to better meet the needs of the changing professional development marketplace. We think this transaction is good for SmartPros’ customers, employees and shareholders,” said SmartPros chairman and CEO Allen S. Greene. “It is a marriage of two well-regarded leaders in continuing education for accountants and financial service professionals.”

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